Health Care

The Humane & Affordable Luxury Of Socialized Medicine

  By Megan Day Jacobin Magazine The standard case for a single-payer health insurance system is pretty well known. Anyone can get care without courting financial ruin. Monumental personal decisions, like when to have a child or whether to leave or take a job, no longer hinge on the whims of an employer or the dysfunctions of the private insurance market. Surprise hospital bills, endless phone calls with insurance companies, juggling premiums, copays, and deductibles — all will be things of the past. The case against single-payer often boils down to a single word: rationing. When critics peddle scare stories about Canadian or…

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Who Profits Off The Opioid Crisis? Meet The Secretive Sackler Family Making Billions From OxyContin Deaths

Democracy Now! (10/19/17) This week, President Donald Trump’s nominee for drug czar, Republican Congressmember Tom Marino, had to withdraw from consideration after a Washington Post/”60 Minutes investigation found he led a drug industry-backed effort to pass a law that weakened the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to crack down on addictive opioids. Meanwhile, calls are growing to look at the major pharmaceutical companies that have fueled the opioid crisis. A new investigation by Esquire magazine reveals how the secretive Sackler family, owners of the company that invented OxyContin, downplayed the risks of addiction and exploited doctors’ confusion over the drug’s strength….


American Capitalism: One-Third Of Americans Can’t Afford Food, Housing Or Health Care

By Alexandra Jacobo Nation of Change (10/12/17) Almost half of Americans struggle to pay there bills, and an astounding one-third of them are at risk of running out of food, not being able to afford a place to live, or not having enough money for health care or medical treatment. In a new survey of financial well-being released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, numbers reflect the diminishing median net worth of an American family, as well as the daily struggles families have with being able to pay for basic living expenses. According to the report: “There is a wide variation in how…


Medicare For All: An Unalienable Right — Not A Privilege!

Medicare For All is freedom from the tyranny and abuse of the health insurance monopolies. Call Rep. Ron Kind (202) 225-5506 Tell Ron you expect him to support our freedom and security by signing on as a cosponsor of HR 676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (10/2/17) Freedom in a free society, is freedom for all. Everyone’s freedom, to be who and where one wants to be, depends upon having good health. Poor health can deprive a person of all sorts of their God-given freedoms. Medicare For All secures the freedoms that come…


Con Job: Bipartisan Congress Lavishes Military Contractors With $700bn While Whining That Healthcare For Your Family Is A Luxury We Can’t Afford

  By Trevor Timm The Guardian (9/20/17) When Bernie Sanders released his much anticipated healthcare plan last week, countless pundits and members of Congress asked why the government should pass such a bill given its potential cost. Now that Congress on the verge of sending a record-setting $700bn Pentagon spending bill to Trump’s desk, you can bet those deficit scolds will be nowhere to be found. [Editor’s Note: When black operations, veterans programs and intel operations are taken into account, the US actually spends more than $1 trillion on war each year. – Mark L. Taylor] On Monday evening, the Senate passed – in…


As Bernie Prepared Medicare Bill, Insurance Lobbyists Shoveled Cash To Quisling Senate Democrats

  By David Sirota & Lydia O’Neal Nation of Change (9/20/17) As Bernie Sanders worked to finalize his Medicare-for-All Act of 2017, corporate lobbyists representing the traditional opponents of single-payer health care – including the nation’s major private insurers and drug companies – poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Senate Democrats’ fundraising accounts. Now, many of those lawmakers have refused to sign on to the Medicare bill. Sanders has faced questions about whether or not the bill would garner solid support among Senate Democrats. So far, 16 Senate Democrats have said they will sponsor the legislation – which the insurance industry slammed after he announced it. A new study from campaign…


‘Medicare for all’ Would Be A Lot Cheaper Than You Might Think

  By Gerald Friedman The Conversation (9/19 Public support for single-payer health care has been rising in recent months amid failed Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. That’s perhaps why Sen. Bernie Sanders on September 13 introduced a new version of his single-payer plan with the support of 16 Democratic colleagues, a sharp rise from 2013 when none signed on to a similar proposal. It would not only expand Medicare to all Americans but make it more comprehensive by covering more services like mental health, dental care and vision, all without copayments or deductibles. But Sanders’s plan would come at a steep price: likely more than…


Daily Dose: What Is Healthcare Really About? It’s About Freedom Over Fear

  By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future.com (9/19/17) Take a look at every email you get from your Democratic representatives about the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act. More importantly, look beyond the issue, beyond the fundraising “ask”, and look at the words and ideas. Here’s an example at one I received recently – they all use the same language: “ALERT: MILLIONS will lose coverage… I’ll put it bluntly: Senate Republicans are CLOSER than ever before to repealing the Affordable Care Act.  The newest plan — supported by Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — would leave millions of Americans without…


Want Affordble, Universal Health Care? Then Change The Debate & Redefine Solution

  By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (8/26/17) One of my heroes, Paul Wellstone, used to say: “In the last analysis, politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.” Imagine a country where you go to the doctor, he treats you, and the bill gets paid for by your tax dollars. We can create that world if we lead! It is time to stop worrying about labels. It…


Colorado GOP Senator Drowned Out By Cheers For ‘Single Payer’ At Town Hall

    By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/16/17) When Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) took the stage at a scheduled town hall on Tuesday in Greeley, Colorado, he apparently didn’t expect to be confronted by a crowd full of enthusiastic supporters of single-payer healthcare. Angry with his support for legislation that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would strip healthcare from more than 20 million American, Coloradans greeted Gardner with jeers as he arrived at the event. At one point during the discussion, Gardner asked how many in the audience supported single-payer healthcare. An “overwhelming majority in the high school auditorium raised their hands,” reports Colorado…


Litmus Test: Medicare For All Supporters Demanding Dems To ‘Make Your Stand’

Time’s up, Dems! By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (8/8/17) As popular support for single-payer continues to grow and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) prepares to introduce Medicare for All legislation, the Establishment wing of the Democratic Party is reportedly “alarmed” by the shifting dynamics and fearful “of primary election challenges” if they don’t support Sanders’s proposal. “Democrats who don’t get behind it could find themselves on the wrong side of the most energetic wing of the party,” Politico reported Monday. Political organizers and supporters of Sanders are already speaking out about how lawmakers’ responses could impact upcoming elections. “Any Democrat worth their salt that doesn’t unequivocally…


It’s Time For The Compassionate Adults In This Nation To Talk Seriously About Medicare For All

A system designed to fail. By Dr. Carol Paris Common Dreams (7/28/17) Hundreds of people slept overnight in cars, or camped for days in a field. They told storiesof yanking out their own teeth with pliers, of reusing insulin syringes until they broke in their arm, of chronic pain so debilitating they could hardly care for their own children. At daybreak, they lined up for several more hours outside a white tent, waiting for their chance to visit a doctor. For many, this was the first health care provider they’ve seen in years. Is this a place torn by war, famine…


Connecting McCain’s Tragic Diagnosis To Trumpcare Isn’t Opportunism, It ‘Is the Goddamn Point’

By Jon Queally Common Dreams (7/23/17) “It isn’t in poor taste, and it isn’t political opportunism—it’s the goddamn point.” That’s what Jon Pavlovitz, a pastor from North Carolina, writes regarding the importance of talking about the recently-announced cancer diagnosis of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)—which he calls “tragic” and “horrific”—in the midst of a raging national debate over healthcare. On Thursday, McCain’s doctors confirmed the 80-year-old senator and former presidential nominee had been diagnosed with an aggressive and malignant form of brain cancer. In the wake of the news there was an outpouring of support and well-wishes from across the political spectrum aimed…


While The Uninsured Suffer & Die: 70 Top Healthcare CEOs Raked In $9.8 Billion Since 2010

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (7/24/17) While the Senate GOP’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been denounced as potentially devastating to the poor, the sick, women, people of color, children, and those with pre-existing conditions, a new analysis published Monday finds that no matter what happens, the CEOs of large healthcare companies are likely to continue living lavishly. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010, the “CEOs of 70 of the largest U.S. healthcare companies cumulatively have earned $9.8 billion,” according to a report by Axios‘s Bob Herman. “The median household income in 2015 was $56,515, which the average healthcare CEO…


Pony Up, Suckers: While Millions Go Without Basic Health Care, Taxpayers Pick Up The Tab For Trump Family Greed

By Brooke Seipel The Hill (4/14/17) The Secret Service has spent more than $35,000 on golf cart rentals at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort since his inauguration, CBS News reported Friday, as Trump begins another weekend in Florida. CBS News reported that it had reviewed purchase orders showing $35,185 in costs for renting golf carts during Trump’s frequent visits to Palm Beach, Fla. The president has played several rounds of golf at Trump-branded clubs, including in Florida and Virginia. Trump has come under fire for his frequent trips, which current estimates show have cost more than $20 million — nearly the amount President Obama spent on travel in…


Al Gore Breaks With Democratic Party Leadership To Support Single-Payer Healthcare

By Eleanor Sheehan Fusion (7/18/17) A day after the Republican party’s effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act crumbled, Al Gore spoke at a community college in Manhattan, NY, about his new climate change movie. Completely unrelated to the documentary, however, Gore expressed his support for a single-payer healthcare system. The Huffington Post first reported Gore’s comments during Tuesday’s event. Breaking with ranking Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Gore told the audience that private health insurance has failed to provide accessible coverage for all Americans. “The private sector has not shown any ability to provide…


Terminal Diagnosis: How US Healthcare Wound Up So Costly, Unfair, Inefficient, Ineffective & Deadly

  By Ray Suarez On Point (7/6/17) The most expensive, least efficient health care model in the developed world is ours. How did we get here? During debates over health care it was often said the U.S. has the best health care system in the world. But Americans are sicker, die younger, and pay more for care than their peers in other wealthy nations. There’s still an intense battle over the future of insurance. How did we get here? This hour On Point: The road Americans took to an expensive and inefficient system. Is it too late to change course? Guests…


Upstart Independent Progressive Publishing House Takes On Trump’s Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price

  By Ryan Grim Action Network (6/27/17) You may remember a few months ago I said that I was co-founding an independent progressive publishing house, called Strong Arm Press. Well today we’re publishing our first book, Out of the Ooze: The Story of Dr. Tom Price, written by the great Alexander Zaitchik, who is the author of a terrific and brutal biography of Glenn Beck that you may have read a few years ago. [Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance.] We’re going to try to drive Out of the Ooze up to number one on the Amazon charts…


Urging Democrats To Go Bold, Warren Says ‘The Next Step Is Single Payer’

The Clock Is Running Out, Dems Time To Go Bold For All American Families By Julia Conley Common Dreams (6/27/17) Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is calling on Democrats to embrace a single-payer healthcare system in order to win back Congress and the White House in upcoming elections. Warren argued that simply blocking the Republican rollback of the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, is not enough to distinguish Democrats from their GOP counterparts in the minds of voters. “President Obama tried to move us forward with health-care coverage,” Warren said, “by using a conservative model…


Killing Off Single Payer Effort By Dem Party Pols In California Is A Cautionary Tale For Progressives

  By Jim Kavanagh CounterPunch (6/27/17) Nothing better illustrates the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party—for all progressive intents and purposes—than California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s announcement on Friday [6/23] afternoon that he was going to put a “hold” on the single-payer health care bill (SB 562) for the state, effectively killing its passage for at least the year. The Democratic Party finds itself in a bind in California. They hold the governorship and a supermajority in both houses of the legislature, so they can pass any bill they want. SB 562 had passed the Senate 23-14. There was…


Republican Trumpcare Bill Is Only About Massive Tax Breaks For The Wealthy

Elizabeth Warren Says Key Thing to Know About Trumpcare Bill: ‘This Is Blood Money’ Common Dreams (6/23/17) Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has now read the Republican bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and says that it contains “one flashing neon light after another” that signals who this piece of legislation is designed to serve: the very rich and the very powerful. “This is blood money,” the senator said both on the floor of the Senate on Thursday and in a video posted to social media. “They’re paying for tax cuts with American lives.” “Make no mistake:…


From Now On, Single Payer Health Care Must Be A Deal Breaking Litmus Test For Democrats

By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (6/18/17) I am so tired of hearing people say they don’t support litmus tests. If you can’t judge candidates by their positions on issues, then how do you know who to vote for? Too many people supported George W. Bush because he was a “good Christian man.” George Will is a great guy at a baseball game, but I disagree with him on the issues, and it is those disagreements that will cause me to not vote for him. Healthcare is important to me, and if a candidate does not support single payer healthcare,…


Worst Epidemic In U.S. History? Opioid Crisis Now Leading Cause Of Death For Americans Under 50

  Democracy Now! (6/7/17) Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. To put the death toll into perspective, opioid deaths have now surpassed the peak in death by car crash in 1972, AIDS deaths in 1995 and gun deaths in 1993. After 20 years of heavy combat in South Vietnam, U.S. military casualties represented only one-third of the death toll from 10 years of opioid overdoses. Meanwhile, counties and states around the country have filed lawsuits to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the public health crisis. “The United States is in…


Of All The Things About Enabling Trumpcare Republicans, Never, Ever Forget This…

“Lawmakers are exempt. Despite all of their rhetoric about the supposed failings of Obamacare, House Republicans inserted a provision on Tuesday that “exempts members of Congress and their staff from their latest healthcare plan,” Vox reported, meaning they will be able to opt out of the new amendment that charges more for people with pre-existing conditions.” – From “‘God Have Mercy on Your Souls’: GOP Passes Cruel, Destructive Trumpcare Bill”, Common Dreams (5/4/17)  


16th Richest Family In America: The Family Making Billions From The Opioid Epidemic

  Brasscheck TV (4/1/17) Deaths by opioid overdose have surpassed AIDS deaths at the peak of that epidemic. There’s one family that’s made billions from this disaster. The US news media has done a good job of keeping their names out of the news. But Brasscheck is not a member of the mainstream news media. Meet the Sackler family… Richard Sackler, 71, moves among elite circles of scientists, researchers, and investors and rarely speaks at public events. Even photographs of him are difficult to find. The Sackler family, in general, has avoided public discussion of OxyContin or the drug’s role…


Can They Do It? This Is No Time For Dems To Be Timid. With Epic GOP Healthcare Fumble Now Is The Time To Go Bold With Medicare-for-All

  By Lauren McCauley Common Dreams (3/24/17) With the Republican attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) going down in flames Friday as Americans rallied to defend their right to healthcare, Democrats are being urged, both by experts and constituents, to seize on the moment and counter with a plan that will truly provide coverage for all. Uproar over the GOP’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was estimated to strip 24 million people of their healthcare by 2026, prompted a political firestorm as it drove voters across the nation to town halls and local legislative offices to demand…


The Forces Driving Middle-Aged White People’s ‘Deaths Of Despair’

  By Jessica Boddy NPR (3/23/17) In 2015, when researchers Ann Case and Angus Deaton discovered that death rates had been rising dramatically since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans, they weren’t sure why people were dying younger, reversing decades of longer life expectancy. Now the husband-and-wife economists say they have a better understanding of what’s causing these “deaths of despair” by suicide, drugs and alcohol. In a follow-up to their groundbreaking 2015 work, they say that a lack of steady, well-paying jobs for whites without college degrees has caused pain, distress and social dysfunction to build up over time. The…


OMG, Democrats! PLEASE Pay Attention! Bernie Sanders Finds Common Ground For Universal Health Care In Trump Territory

By Nika Knight Common Dreams (3/14/17) In a town hall in rural McDowell County, West Virginia, on Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told a crowd filled with supporters of President Donald Trump that “healthcare is a right”—and was met with cheers. The town hall was broadcast Monday on MSNBC‘s “All In With Chris Hayes,” and featured discussion on a range of topics: jobs, infrastructure, healthcare, and the opioid crisis, among others. The warm reception to Sanders’ views—that climate change is real, that universal healthcare is a right, and that free higher education is necessary, among others—demonstrated that residents of this…


Gee, Thanks! Insurance Companies Just Made The Case For Medicare For All!

By Daniel Marans The Huffington Post (3/9/17) America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade group for commercial health insurance companies, published an infographic this month breaking down how the industry spends every dollar it receives in premiums. The group apparently crafted the visual aid to defend rising premiums its member companies are charging customers. But the chart also inadvertently helps explain why commercial health insurance is a bad deal. The graphic shows that about 80 percent of every premium dollar goes toward medical expenses ― prescription drugs, doctor visits, hospitalization and other services. Approximately 18 percent goes to administrative costs, and some 3…


How The GOP Healthcare Plan Helps Make Case For Universal Medicare-for-All

Paul Ryan presents Republican Health Care Plan.   By Deirdre Fulton Common Dreams (3/7/17) The GOP’s new plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with something much worse merely supports the argument that the only way to achieve true healthcare reform is to enact a single-payer, Medicare-for-All system, advocates said this week. “Instead of fixing the very real holes in the ACA—and moving forward to a permanent solution for our broken healthcare system, as could be done by expanding Medicare to cover everyone, at lower cost—the Republican plan moves us back, far back, to the worst vestiges…


Sick! Days After Trump Met With Pharma CEOs, His SEC Helped the Drug Industry Block Initiatives To Lower Drug Prices

By David Sirota International Business Times (3/3/17) A week before his inauguration, Donald Trump said that when it came to drug prices, pharmaceutical companies were “getting away with murder” — and he pledged to take decisive action to reduce the rising cost of medicine. Six weeks into his presidency, though, his government has moved to help drug companies block shareholder initiatives designed to help bring more scrutiny to drug price increases. With drug prices skyrocketing in the United States, investor groups last year filed shareholder resolutions with 13 drug companies that — if passed — would force their boards to more meticulously detail their…